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1924 - 2013 WILLIAMSTOWN Gisela Lehovec, 88, died at her home in Philo, Ill., on March 14, 2013.
She was born Oct. 29, 1924, in Marburg an der Lahn in Germany to Ernst and Marianne Baars. She was educated as a librarian.
Gisela immigrated to Long Branch, N.J., in 1949.
She married Kurt Lehovec in 1952. The two moved to Williamstown, shortly afterward. Gisela devoted the next two decades to raising their four daughters.
She worked as the children's librarian at the Bennington Free Library in Vermont from 1972 to 1994. She was renowned for her skills as a storyteller and literacy advocate. Many still remember her as the person who taught them to love reading.
Gisela was deeply committed to her faith. She was a founding member of the 3rd Order Lay Carmelites in the Berkshire region for 56 years.
Gisela moved to Philo in 2004. Her love for learning and adventurous nature continued to serve her well. She learned to quilt and began watercolor painting. A favorite theme were the cornfields of pastoral Philo, a community she quickly came to love.
She swam laps daily, served her church as Eucharistic minister and lector, and took part in several adult-learning programs through the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She made many new friends and learned the art of receiving as well as giving love.
Her inner strength shone brightly during her three-year journey with cancer. She inspired many with her courage, grace and faith.
She is predeceased by her parents, by her brothers, Juergen and Reinhard Baars, and by her ex-husband, Kurt Lehovec.
Survivors include her sister, Renate Griffin; daughters, Susan Maher, Bettina Lehovec, Linda Lehovec and Marietta Tower; four beloved grandchildren, her sons-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donations may be made to the Bennington Free Library or the Lay Carmelites in North Adams. Condolences may be left at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
Published in North Adams Transcript on Mar. 21, 2013